The site previously banned Rittenhouse legal defense fundraisers because he was accused of a violent crime. His exoneration in his trial on Friday cleared that hurdle.
“If someone is acquitted of those charges, as Rittenhouse was today, a fundraiser started subsequently for their legal defense and other expenses would not violate this policy,” the statement read. “A fundraiser to pay lawyers, cover legal expenses or to help with ongoing living expenses for a person acquitted of those charges could remain active as long as we determine it is not in violation of any of our other terms and, for example, the purpose is clearly stated and the correct beneficiary is added to the fundraiser.”
However, reports indicate GoFundMe has waivered on a blanket ban in such cases.
“We are monitoring our site for related fundraisers to try to verify, as we do for all events that have widespread attention, that the funds are going to the intended recipient and that the fundraiser is within our Terms of Service,” the GoFundMe statement on lifting Rittenhouse’s ban said. “This process takes time and may slow down the withdrawal process. If the fundraiser does violate our Terms of Service or does not directly benefit the intended beneficiary, we will remove it from the platform.”
Although cleared of criminal charges, Rittenhouse could potentially face civil or federal civil rights lawsuits related to his shooting incident. He is also involved in a dispute over a $2 million bond posted by his former attorney, John Pierce.